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Author: Flavia Buzzetta

Abstract

The article looks at the transfer of knowledge between Judaism and Christianity in the Renaissance, a period characterized by the encounter of different cultures and belief systems. In particular, it will focus on the Christian Kabbalah, which channels various philosophical and sapiential traditions into a universal, and at the same time, plural vision of wisdom. This convergence of ideas resulted, on the one hand, in the elaboration of translations, adaptations, and vulgarization of Jewish texts and, on the other, in the development of new interpretations. This is a characteristic of the collected writings of Pierleone of Spoleto, which involved the transformative communication of Jewish translators and the creative reception of Christian humanists. Of these manuscripts, we will examine the annotations concerning the sefirot, which are an excellent example of the reinterpretation of Jewish thought through a typically humanistic perspective.

In: European Journal of Jewish Studies

Abstract

This article explores the printed editions of Joseph Gikatilla’s Sha‘arei Orah in the broader context of kabbalistic knowledge in early modern East-Central Europe. Following its first Italian editions, the book was reprinted several times. The Kraków 1600 edition with commentary by Matityah Delacrut presented Sha‘arei Orah as a kabbalistic lexicon and study aid. The Offenbach 1715 edition included additional notes that linked Sha‘arei Orah to the Safedian Kabbalah of Moses Cordovero and Isaac Luria. Finally, the several editions published in Żółkiew exemplify the diversification of Kabbalah in the contentious religious climate of eighteenth-century Eastern Europe. Each printing reflects a discrete historical context, yet Sha‘arei Orah was consistently seen as an introductory guide to Kabbalah. Threading together these unique moments reveals one trajectory of the history of Kabbalah, as printing brought esoteric texts to new generations of readers with new concerns and agendas.

In: European Journal of Jewish Studies

Abstract

In this article, I present a midrashic reference to one mishnah of tractate Avot that would appear to undermine its canonical status. A close reading of the midrash, will show that it makes use of various satirical tools, including exaggeration and ridicule, which appear to be aimed at a mocking of the mishnah. However, further reading of the midrash in light of a more comprehensive look at tractate Avot will show that contrary to this initial impression, the use of satire may not be directed at undermining the canonical status of Avot but rather at strengthening it. According to this reading, the satire is directed at internal criticism that the midrash identifies in the heart of the mishnaic text, with the result that Avot’s status is restored.

In: Zutot
Author: Tamir Karkason

Abstract

Barukh Mitrani was an Ottoman maskil who wandered between the Balkans, Istanbul and Palestine. While living in Edirne, Mitrani established his first periodical, Carmi (Pressburg 1881). Carmi’s issues were an ongoing maskilic sermon, drawing on a deep acquaintance with the Jewish bookshelf. This paper examines selections from the fifth article in Carmi, ‘Our Nationhood.’ Influenced by the moderate Haskalah, Mitrani idealized a ‘Golden Mean,’ which sought to balance the agendas of ‘the two poles’: insular Ultra-Orthodox Jews on the one hand, and secularized ‘Westernizers’ on the other. Mitrani also espoused a Jewish nationalism which had affinities with the Hebrew ‘republic of letters’ and the national resurgence in the Balkans. He perceived every Jew as part of three circles: the individual, the family, and the nation. Yet his nationalism was not separatist; he obliged Jews to remain loyal Ottoman citizens and promote the Sultanate while also settling in Palestine.

In: Zutot

Abstract

This article considers the dynamics of the memories of World War II for survivors who give multiple accounts of their experiences over time. I compare five testimonies with different medial content given in 1944, 1983, and 1996 by Ruth Glasberg Gold. In November 1941, at the age of eleven, she was deported with her parents and brother from Czernowitz to the Bershad ghetto, Transnistria, where she lost her family and was orphaned. My major interest is to examine how Glasberg Gold’s memories over time intersect with changes of medium, location, language, and temporal context, and might have brought different or similar emphases in her written, audio, and video testimonies of the Holocaust. I believe her case to be important for scholarly analysis as it allows one to explore how the developing personality of a Holocaust survivor and changing media environments intersect and relate to how memories of the Holocaust become shaped, rehashed, and modified over time.

In: European Journal of Jewish Studies
Author: Judith Kogel

Abstract

Interest was aroused recently concerning a booklet of 28 folios entitled Tabula in universum indicans libros singularum disciplinarum. Formerly considered a 17th-century catalogue, it actually reflects the contents of the library of the Collège de Sorbonne in the mid-16th century. A project, directed by Gilbert Fournier, will identify the authors and works mentioned in the document and localize the books in Parisian and French libraries. Entrusted with the rubric Rabbini Hebraeorum, I quickly realized that I needed to work simultaneously on the catalogue and the dispersion of the library of the Collège. This back and forth process led to the discovery of the 1529 Bomberg Ashkenazic Siddur.

In: Zutot

Abstract

This zuta provides an edition of a new copy of a known piyyut by Abraham ibn Ezra, ‘Goat beautiful of voice’ (יַעְלָה יְפַת קוֹל), with translation, full collation, and commentary. This copy, now in the collection of the University of Michigan (P.Mich. inv. 531), offers some valuable new readings as well as evidence for the readership of Ibn Ezra in a provincial setting in medieval Egypt, as its provenance can be traced to the city of Medinet el-Fayyūm; the text can be added to evidence for a Jewish presence there, of which an overview is also given.

Open Access
In: Zutot

Abstract

Since the beginning of the Judezmo press in the second half of the nineteenth century, “the language question” has been a recurrent topic of debate. Throughout the pages of the many newspapers in Judeo-Spanish, several linguistic ideologies were exposed, often causing heated controversies. The aim of this article is to analyze the views, assumptions and conceptions regarding the many languages employed by the Sephardim of Turkey during the second half of the twentieth century. Şalom, a Judezmo newspaper published in Istanbul from 1947 onwards, will be the source informing this analysis. Finally, it will be observed whether such linguistic ideologies had an impact on the domains of use of the languages employed by Turkish Jewry and helped to conform the current linguistic landscape of the community.

In: European Journal of Jewish Studies

Abstract

Since the beginning of the Judezmo press in the second half of the nineteenth century, “the language question” has been a recurrent topic of debate. Throughout the pages of the many newspapers in Judeo-Spanish, several linguistic ideologies were exposed, often causing heated controversies. The aim of this article is to analyze the views, assumptions and conceptions regarding the many languages employed by the Sephardim of Turkey during the second half of the twentieth century. Şalom, a Judezmo newspaper published in Istanbul from 1947 onwards, will be the source informing this analysis. Finally, it will be observed whether such linguistic ideologies had an impact on the domains of use of the languages employed by Turkish Jewry and helped to conform the current linguistic landscape of the community.

In: European Journal of Jewish Studies